Are you doing everything you can think of to encourage online reviews from your customers?
It can be frustrating to provide a great product or service, day in and day out, without the reward of positive feedback.
Getting online reviews is important for your business. It builds your reputation, and it helps you rank higher in search engines. People trust businesses more because of positive online reviews.
So what can do you to generate more reviews? Here are a few suggestions based on our experiences.
Go Above and Beyond
Before one of our associates became an employee, she had an unusual experience with a major cosmetics company. While trying to place an order online, she was having trouble getting the website to acknowledge her payment – thus, she could not place the order.
She promptly called the company’s customer service number and spoke to a representative about the issue. While the rep was unable to resolve the issue that day (it actually took several days), the exceptional service our associate received afterward had a profound impact on her view of the company.
Not only did she receive her order the very next day, but after the issue was resolved the company also sent her multiple free products as a sign of gratitude.
While some may say this was a necessary remedy, not every company takes the extra steps to maintain customer relationships. Because this company did, our associate was compelled to leave a glowing online review. And you can bet the company earned more than just the review; they earned her loyalty.
Ask for Online Reviews at the Right Time
We once saw an ecommerce site that prompted users to leave a review after only 30 seconds of being on the site. The intent was to remind the user to review their experience after their purchase was completed.
It was admirable the business even considered asking for reviews on the site (this was before online reviews were as big of a buyer and search engine influence). But the timing was off; the company would have been better served by asking users for a review of their online experience after the transaction – once the company had a chance to go above and beyond.
Of course, online is not the only place to ask your customers for reviews; in fact, one of the best opportunities to solicit reviews is when you are in the company of your customers. Perhaps after you have just delighted them with your product or service.
Use the Power of Email
Last week, we received an email from one of our vendors requesting a review. This is a vendor whose service we use very frequently. They don’t send a lot of emails, so we pay attention when they do.
The subject line of the email read, “Will you leave us an online review?” It was that simple. And because their customer service is outstanding (see “Go Above and Beyond”), we didn’t hesitate to comply.
If you have your customers’ email addresses, consider putting together a short request email. You can provide links to your review pages on Google+, Yelp, Facebook and other industry-related review sites. Then, all they have to do is click and submit a quick little write-up.
What are some other ways you encourage customer reviews? Tell us in the comments.
Sheila Hart-O’Connor is a word geek who is passionate about all things digital. She specializes in advertising and marketing copy, with a lean toward SEO, social media, and blogging.